Varicose veins are a common problem that affects many people. They can be painful, unsightly, and often debilitating. This can make it difficult to get through the day. However, there are several treatments available for varicose veins.

The good news is that many varicose veins treatment options are available in Melbourne to help you combat the symptoms of this condition. A vascular surgeon in Melbourne will get your life back on track.

This article will look at what causes varicose veins and how they develop. We will also explain the different stages of varicose veins development and what to expect at each stage.

Varicose Veins: Cause

Varicose veins develop when valves in the veins do not function properly. A normal valve acts like a gate that allows blood to travel forward towards the heart. However if these one-way valves become leaky or ‘incompetent’, it allows blood to travel back down towards the feet, resulting in congestion of the surface veins of the legs. This is seen as bulging and swelling of the leg veins. Varicose veins can occur at any age.

Other risk factors include:

● Prolonged standing or sitting (immobility)

● Pregnancy

● Obesity

● Hormone changes during menopause or pregnancy

Developmental Stages of Varicose Veins

Some people worry about the appearance of their varicose veins, while for others, the issue causes pain and suffering. Varicose veins are a symptom of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). Knowing the development of your varicose veins might help you determine if you need treatment before chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) becomes more noticeable.

There are five main stages of varicose vein development:

1. Spider Veins Stage

Spider veins are small, dilated superficial veins that occur most just under the skin’s surface. They may be visible as bluish or reddish streaks along the skin surface, and they tend to appear closer to the surface than varicose veins do.

2. Enlarged Varicose Veins

When varicose veins are first detected, it’s usually because they’re visible through the skin on the surface of your legs. These enlarged varicose veins have a blue or purple colour; when you feel them, you may feel squishy and compressible cord-like lumps under your skin. They will enlarge after standing for a long time, after physical activity, and when the weather is warmer.

Although some people with varicose veins report minimal discomfort, the condition is quite bothersome for others.

3. Edema in Legs & Ankles

Swelling of the legs and ankles is a symptom of the third stage of vein disease, which occurs when varicose veins are not treated.

Edema is swelling caused by fluid retention. It occurs when there is too much fluid in an area of your body that contains few lymphatic vessels (lymphatic vessels exist throughout the body but are more numerous near your heart). The lymphatic vessels help move excess fluid out of your body by carrying it back into the bloodstream for disposal by your kidneys and liver.

If you have edema, you may experience swelling of your ankles and legs after sitting or standing for long periods or from standing on your feet all day at work.

4. Skin Discoloration and hardening

The next stage of varicose veins is often skin discolouration around the vein, which appears darker than the surrounding skin. The discolouration is often a tawny brown colour. Furthermore, the skin and soft tissue may become less supple or pliable, i.e. it becomes hard and woody in texture.

If your vein problem has progressed to this point, you must make an appointment with a vascular surgeon in Melbourne to diagnose it and devise a varicose veins treatment strategy.

5. Leg Ulcers

Despite medical intervention, leg ulcers are more difficult to heal in the latter stages of CVI and varicose veins. Persistent, non-healing wounds are called ulcers. When blood flow is restricted, skin cells do not receive the nutrients they need to recover.

Chronic venous insufficiency is the root cause of this form of vein illness. Symptoms and discomfort can be extremely distressing and even incapacitating for those affected. Additionally, bacteria can easily enter exposed wounds making things worse.

Takeaway

By understanding the developmental stages of varicose veins, you can take steps to prevent them from developing further and causing problems.

The good news is that many options for varicose veins treatment in Melbourne are available. Dr Adrian Ling is a vascular specialist in Melbourne at Vein Artery Specialist who can help you understand your treatment options and decide which one is right for you!